Farewell Dionn

December 18, 2017

June 14, 2019

Dear Dionn,

I remember the first day I saw you in the radiation waiting area – such a warm inviting smile! You made me feel comfortable, although inside me was fear and apprehension. I was a bit afraid to reach out to you. Would it be appropriate? Would it be welcome? Of course, you were so kind! And day by day, I would see your welcoming face that started my day! I did not know how ill you were. I did not know the rigors of treatments and surgery that lay ahead for you.

Now we find ourselves nearly a year and a half later. Thank you for inviting me to your “Peace Out Farewell.”

I’m a bit nervous even as I write this: what should I say? How might I encourage my brother? I trust this helps! Kathee and I had a little McDonald’s picnic at Medicine Lake park at lunch today. We read John chapter 3 and these verses are always an encouragement to me: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Not to be morbid, but of course having cancer I think of death daily. I wish I did not. I think about gravestones, my funeral, my burial location, and more.

A common Roman era military grave epitaph is: “fui quod es, eris quod sum”. Translated is: “I once was what you are, you will be what I am”. This is even on some modern graves:

Of course, it speaks of our common destiny – I will die!

40 years ago, a close friend John D died of Leukemia. Soon I will join him. But what awaits the Christian? I know you know! John 11:25, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live’”. Our Lord is the God of the living: Jesus: “But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” (Luke 20:37-38)

My friend, John D, though long dead (he was 26) and buried, has been alive with Jesus these 40 years! I look forward to seeing him again! What will that be like?

The Scriptures inform us in at least four passages:

There was Paul “caught up into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12) who saw “surpassing great[] …revelations” and “heard things that cannot be told” (12:1-ff)

Isaiah saw:

Ezekiel (chapter 1)saw:

John saw (Revelation 1):

Dear Dionn, I must tell your that I love this life so much that I do not want to leave. But my day will come. And I am convinced, that I will see the Lord as Paul, Isaiah, Ezekiel and John have. This is the glorious future that awaits the Christian!

With much love! Jim

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